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Sotareño by Carolina Calvache

Sotareño by Carolina Calvache

iTunes Review

On the cover of the debut album by Colombia-born/New York–based pianist Caroline Calvache, she’s decked out in a lovely dress seemingly poised to be a great new singer, or perhaps an important new Latin jazz artist. Instead we get a contemporary post-bop pianist playing darkly lyrical songs with tricky rhythmic patterns. A veteran band arranger, Calvache works in a combination of solo, duo, trio, and quartet settings alongside Michael Rodriguez (trumpet), Ludwig Afonso (drums), Hans Glawischnig (bass), Jaleel Shaw (saxophone), and Antonio Sanchez (drums). Based on a traditional Colombian hymn from Sotara, “El Sotarello” is a uplifting and surging celebration of her roots that returns as a classical solo vignette as a closer. Other standouts include “Stella” (with its more delicate approach and fine solo from Glawischnig) and “Lluvia,” which has a tricky ebb and flow from the pianist’s left hand that keeps players and listeners on their toes. A promising debut by anyone’s standards.

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